Summer Blog Entry: July 22
07/22/2011 2:35 PM - Adrian Denny
Off the heals of announcing the re-signing of Matt Reber, the Grizzlies expect to announce another key signing in the next seven days. Keep in mind, that players aren’t necessarily announced the second that the contracts are approved, they are announced when it has the best opportunity to have the most public impact. Kevin Colley currently is sitting on several signed contracts, of which all Americans will soon be announced. As per team policy, no Canadian players on ECHL contracts will be announced until the start of training camp, due to immigration procedures.
Speaking of Kevin Colley, he looks forward to golfing in the pro-am section of the Utah Championship on Wednesday as the Nationwide Tour makes its yearly stop in Utah to the Willow Creek Country Club.
New Bakersfield Head Coach Matt O’Dette mentioned Utah and Stockton as the two teams that you need to build to compete against as he assembles his first group of Condors for 2011-2012.
Two more former Grizzlies have signed NHL contracts since the last summer blog. Micheal Haley has re-signed with the Islanders and Jason Bacashihua still keeps motoring on after several successful consecutive AHL seasons, as he has inked with Philadelphia.
In a related story, Brighton High’s Trevor Lewis has re-signed with the Los Angeles Kings after a solid full season in California.
Summer Blog Entry: July 8
07/08/2011 2:16 PM - Adrian Denny
Five former Grizzlies have signed with new NHL teams since free agency started on July 1. Jeff Taffe has signed with Minnesota, Nathan Lawson with Montreal, Zenon Konopka with Ottawa, Trevor Smith with Tampa Bay and Mike Smith with Phoenix.
I was in the Stockton, California area a few weeks ago, for a wedding, returning for the first time since Utah pulled out of the San Joaquin valley on a Sunday evening after dispatching of the Thunder in four games in the first round. It was fun revisiting the feeling of winning a playoff series and pulling out of town, while sending the other team home for the summer.
I heard from a 2010-2011 Grizzlies player this past week who is looking forward to starting his new career as a police officer.
There has been some speculation about the ECHL’s Trenton Devils going away, even though the ECHL schedule has been released. Even if that happens, the Grizzlies schedule is unlikely to change as there is no crossover this year in the ECHL’s Eastern and Western Conference schedules.
Bakersfield and Alaska have yet to announce new coaches. It has been proven that a coaching change in the ECHL’s Western Conference is a setback in the standings. Since Utah joined the ECHL, in 2005, no new Head Coach hired during the offseason has won more games than the previous coach in the previous season. There have been six such instances of offseason coaching changes out west in that time period. Five have lost more than the last team won, with only Ryan Mougenel in Las Vegas, matching the last year’s previous total in 2009-2010.